The word vascular comes from the Latin vascularis, meaning "of or pertaining to vessels or tubes." A vascular surgeon diagnoses and surgically treats afflictions of the human blood vessels, arteries and capillaries. She requires a high level of expert knowledge to perform the role and her salary will reflect her skill level and time taken to accrue it.
Specialised surgery, such as that undertaken by a vascular surgeon, is learnt only after completing several other steps in the medical field. She must secure a good bachelor's degree and then attend medical school. After graduation she will have to work as a general medical practitioner for five ears, before gaining her medical licence. At this point she can undertake special raining in vascular surgery, over a two- to four-year period in order to practice as such.
Hospitals and surgery centres are the most likely employers of vascular surgeons. As a member of the surgical team at such an institution, a vascular surgeon will be able to consult with other expert physicians and use state-of-the-art equipment. He will, however, usually be required to work long hours with a certain proportion being on call, responding to emergencies. A vascular surgeon may choose to set up a private practice, through which he can dictate his own hours. He may also wish to pursue opportunities in research or teaching.
The years until 2018 are expected to see a significant rise in demand for surgeons in all areas of specialised expertise. The BLS predicts that a large number of currently practicing surgeons will reach retirement age during that time, leaving vacancies to be filled. Compensation rates for vascular surgeons should, therefore, remain high. If a vascular surgeon is willing to work in a rural or low-income area (which traditionally have a shortfall in qualified professionals) she may increase her earning potential significantly.
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